Checklist and Questions to Ask When Choosing an Investment Broker or Advisor
As an investment fraud law firm, we often post articles discussing real-life examples of fraud and the steps investors can take to recover fraudulent losses. But, in a perfect world, these would not be issues at all. We know the devastation that comes with losing everything, and we strongly encourage all individuals to do their research so they can make informed decisions about investing with a broker or advisor.
If you are thinking about investing, here is a checklist you can use to help facilitate your research and a list of questions that we recommend asking before you hire an investment professional.
Checklist for Researching an Investment Broker or Advisor
Consider these factors before choosing an investment broker or advisor to meet with in person:
- Does the broker or advisor have client references for you to contact?
- Have you contacted the referred clients?
- Is the broker or advisor registered with FINRA or licensed by the SEC?
- If the broker or advisor is registered with FINRA, does he or she have a clean disciplinary history on BrokerCheck®?
- Can you find any news stories or negative publicity regarding the broker or advisor?
- Is the broker or advisor willing to provide you with a resume or list of credentials? Does he or she have significant experience as a financial professional?
- Does the broker or advisor have a website? If so, is it professional and up-to-date?
- Did you find the broker or advisor either independently or through a friend or family member (as opposed to receiving an unsolicited inquiry)?
- Have you reviewed the red flags for investment fraud?
- Has the broker or advisor asked for your account details or personally-identifying information without formally establishing you as a client?
Depending on the answers to these questions, you may or may not choose to meet with a potential broker or advisor in person. When in doubt, it is always best to keep looking. There are experienced and trustworthy financial professionals out there, you just need to take the time to find the right one for you.
Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Investment Professional
If you have decided to meet with a broker or advisor in person, you should prepare for your initial meeting by putting together a list of questions. Some examples of questions you may want to ask include:
- Are you registered with FINRA or licensed by the SEC?
- How long have you been a broker or advisor?
- How long have you been with your current firm?
- How many of your clients have portfolios similar in size to mine?
- How often will I hear from you?
- How will you bill me for your services?
- What other fees and costs will I have to pay?
- How long is your relationship with your longest-standing client?
- Do you get commissions for selling certain investment products?
- How will I be able to track my investment performance?
For more tips and suggested questions, you can read the SEC’s Top Tips for Selecting a Financial Professional.
Zamansky, LLC | Financial Fraud Lawyers Representing Investors Nationwide
If you have questions about an investment broker or advisor or would like more information about the warning signs of investment fraud, we invite you to contact us for a free and confidential consultation. To speak with a lawyer at our offices in the heart of Wall Street, please call (646) 663-5628 or tell us how we can help online today.